I was in an Oldham pub called the Honeywell… I think we had been playing squash at a club up the road, or maybe we were about to go and play squash up the road, or maybe it was after a teachers’ evening after school, or before said evening… anyway a load of colleagues and friends, a gang of us were in the Honeywell having a drink and good time, when a band I now know as Culture Club came on with ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’ and I was utterly captivated! Was the singer a man or a woman? Did it matter? It was wonderful – the song, I mean, s/he was wonderful too! I was so intrigued, it was nothing like anything I had ever seen or heard before!
My dad, who was born in 1919, had an incredibly eclectic taste in music; he liked it if he liked it, he had no preconceived ideas. It could be the lyric, the melody, the instruments playing, the voice. He particularly liked Culture Club, although he always called Boy George, George Boy.
When I first came to Manchester I was a Beatles as opposed to a Stones fan, but I also liked Cream, The Incredible String Band, and a lot of other alternative stuff… the friends I met were really full-on into Northern Soul and we went to clubs and danced and rocked, Motown, the Isleys, other black bands, plus Canned Heat who played at our Polytechnic… Discos saw me through the 70’s and despite what people say there was a lot of good music… then, the 80’s… my life changed and I had a time when things were not so good, not so happy, but there were positives too – and for me, this song is a sort of anthem for that period in my life – but also separately for a time I can look back on more objectively, and see good as well as dark!